Job growth in the coming year is expected to be moderate in Georgia, and Augusta’s is to be among the fastest, according to a university forecast released Wednesday.
The overall state is predicted to add 1.8 percent to the number of jobs, about on par with the rest of the country. Augusta will be hiring more quickly at 2.5 percent, according to a quarterly outlook by the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University.
“In recent news, the business-processing-software company ADP announced expansion of its Augusta facility and the creation of 450 new positions,” wrote Rajeev Dhawan, director of the center. “Also in the news, manufacturer GIW, which produces pumps, will build a new facility and add 25 jobs, and Coastal Meats, a poultry-processing firm, will add 115 new jobs.”
Payroll expansion has slowed across the Peach State so far this year, with just 46,500 new jobs compared to 103,900 in the same period of last year.
“A slowdown in the global economy has hindered Georgia’s growth, combined with weaker domestic investment,” Dhawan wrote. “For calendar year 2015, we expect job additions to be 75,100, a gain of 2.5 percent. We expect similar job additions in 2016, an increase of 74,000 positions or 1.8 percent.”
The slowdowns in China and Europe especially hit Georgia’s manufacturing sector and other export-related businesses. For instance, manufacturing gained just 1,700 jobs in the first nine months of 2015, a fraction of the 10,100 added in the same period of last year.
Likewise, the transportation and warehousing sector went from adding 12,000 jobs to just 2,200 in the comparable periods. Ditto for wholesale trade. In the tourism area, the slowdown was not as pronounced.
Continued growth has been in retailing, financial, professional/business services and education/health.
Looking ahead, the forecast calls for practically no growth in manufacturing, a 5.6 percent jump in construction, 2.5 in transportation/warehousing, 1.2 for wholesaling and 4.1 in professional/business services.
In Augusta, employment has been more robust, with the biggest gains in leisure and hospitality, government and retail.
“Net-net: domestic positives are countering the negative global factors, and that reality is evident in Georgia’s income-tax revenue collections that have grown nicely by 8.8 percent in the last nine months, even as job numbers were decelerating,” Dhawan said.
Also Wednesday, the Atlanta Fed released a survey of businesses on their anticipated inflation rate. The average predicted was 1.8 percent.
The 221 firms across the region reported that, on average, the cost of materials they buy for business has risen 1.3 percent over the past year. Also, 57 percent say the profit margins they are enjoying are at or above normal for them.
Source: The Augusta Chronicle
Author: Walter C. Jones/Morris News Service